Mustang Tales

April 9, 2021 Vol 1. Issue 22

Message from Principal Masone

Hello Mustang Families,

Spring is in the air and we are hoping to spend more days outdoors. One of the changes we are discussing is removing the plexiglass barriers on students' desks. Please find more information below.

Beginning April 16th, we will start our state testing, CMAS, for grades three, four and five. Our third and fifth-grade students will be taking the Language Arts assessment and fourth graders will be taking the Math assessment. Students are welcome to attend school on testing days, even if they are not participating in testing. The testing schedule is below.

Have a wonderful weekend!

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Important Updates

  • April 12 - 29: CMAS testing
  • April 23: No School - Staff work day
  • April 26 - 30: MSES Book Fair
  • May 5: Asynchronous At-Home Learning/Staff professional work day
  • May 26: Last Day for Students - 12:00 pm Dismissal

The beautiful daffodils you see are from the garden of Ms. Laura Maestas, who teaches the Growing Gardens class!

As always, please feel free to reach out to the front office with any questions or concerns! You can call the main number 719-685-2195, Stacy at or Caitlin at

Plexi-glass Barrier Update from the District:

We have used the plexi-glass barriers this year to create an environment where there was an added layer of separation between individuals. We are thankful for everyone's commitment to using these barriers this school year.

Our COVID Response Team meets daily, and we are consistently reflecting on and reviewing our practices. The usage of masks continues to be the primary tool for creating a barrier, in conjunction with physical distancing when possible. That being said, our team has determined that the usage of barriers are now at a place where we can phase them out of the school day.

  • Some teachers may want to continue to use the barriers in their classes, which is okay.

  • Some parents and students may want to continue to use the barriers. This is also okay.

If you would like your student to continue to use a barrier in class, please contact your school’s front office. Any child will be able to continue to use a barrier without explanation.

If your student's teacher wants to continue to use barriers in their classroom, all students will need to continue to use barriers in that class.

There are many different reasons that a child or teacher might want to continue to utilize these plexi-glass barriers, and we want to be respectful of those individual reasons when it comes to this matter.

For Our Fuel Ed Families:

K12 Materials DO NOT need to be returned to the company at the end of the school year. You may continue to use them or donate them.

Fuel/ED Google Meets with MSES Teachers: Classroom teachers are continuing their Google Meet connections every other week. Please look for communication from your child's MSES grade level teacher about this in-person learning /connection time.

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2021-2022 Registration Information

2021-2022 Returning Student Registration Process

Currently enrolled students who will be returning, both resident and non-resident, will be rolled over to the upcoming 2021-2022 school year. You will receive an email notification to complete the registration renewal process in early June.

Here is the first step for you to complete:

Please help us with this process by completing the 2021-2022 Intent to Return Survey using the link below. We ask that all parents and guardians complete this survey regardless of whether they will be attending MSSD14 in the fall for the 2021-2022 school year.

Intent to Return Survey -

Ask Your Expert!

Read about what's happening in our grade-level and exploratory classes at MSES!

Preschool: In the afternoon class we read The Very Hungry Caterpillar by, Eric Carle. We then acted out the story with yoga poses to support our discussion of life cycles. As part of the Classic Tales domain, we read The Shoemaker and the Elves and talked about the characters, table of contents, and made predictions about the story using clues from the pictures. Students then took home a version of the story so that they can retell the story with their family!

Kindergarten: We just finished up our domain about Colonial Towns and Townspeople. Kindergartners are going to spend the next several weeks learning about how to take care of the Earth. Ask your expert: What kind of metal does a blacksmith melt to make tools? (Iron.) What is the soft stone they use to heat the fire in their forge? (Coal.) Why was the blacksmith the most important tradesperson in Colonial times? (They made all of the tools the other tradespeople needed to do their jobs.) What does a Bricklayer use to build a house? (Bricks and mortar.) What does a mason use to build a house? (Stones.) How do carpenters fasten or attach pieces of wood together? (They use a hammer and nails.)

1st Grade: This week, first graders concluded their unit on Fairy Tales with the tales of Hansel and Gretel and Jack and the Beanstalk. Ask your expert: Talk about the story elements of Hansel and Gretel. What was the setting? (house, forest, witch’s house) Who were the characters? (Hansel, Gretel, stepmother, father, witch, duck) What elements of fantasy or magic were in the fairy tale? (a witch eating children, a duck carrying two children across a lake,etc.) What problems did Hansel and Gretel have? (not enough food or money, lost in the woods, witch wanting to eat them, etc.) What were some of the solutions? (leaving a path of pebbles/bread, taking pearls and jewels from the witch to use to buy food, etc.) How did the story end? (The children were reunited with their father, the stepmother was gone, they had money to be able to buy more food) How is Jack similar to Hansel and/or Gretel? How are they different from each other? (They both had little food and money, they both met a magical character that caused problems for them, they both ended up with riches, both lived happily ever after, Jack lived with his mother instead of a father and stepmother, Jack didn’t have a sister, etc.)

2nd Grade: Civil War controversy: What line divided the North from the South? (Mason Dixon Line.) How were the North and South different? (The South economy was agriculture - cotton, tobacco, sugar cane, Indigo - and the North’s economy was industry as in factories, etc.) What is an abolitionist? (A person who doesn’t believe in slavery.) Can you name some famous abolitionists? (Frederick Douglas, Susan B. Anthony, Harriet Tubman.) How did they help? (They kept the Underground Railroad running smoothly.) Who was Abraham Lincoln? (The 16th president of the United States.) How does he feel about slavery? (He felt that it would tear the country apart. He is famous for saying, “A house divided against itself cannot stand".) What did the South do to try to keep their slaves? (They seceded from the Union and called themselves the Confederate States of America. They even elected a president.) Where was the first battle? (Fort Sumter under Union control.) Who won? (South/Confederates).What happened at Manassas or Bull Run? (The Union and Confederacy clashed and the war began.) Who watched? (Spectators with their families and picnic lunches.) Why? (They thought the battle would be short and the Union would win easily.) What is a Rebel yell? (A frightening yell that the Confederates used to scare the Union soldiers.) How do they feel about the war so far? (Answers vary)

3rd Grade: We are now on a journey from Europe to the Americas with our next unit, “European Exploration of North America.” Ask your expert what the European explorers were looking for. (Gold, spices, wealth.) What was Columbus looking for and where did he land? (A shorter route to the East Indies, he landed in the Carribean region.) Who did he exaggerate to? (He told his sponsors, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, that the lands he found were full of gold.) Be sure your expert knows the word conquistador (conqueror, travelers, soldiers and explorers from Spain looking for wealth and conquering native peoples of North, South and Central America.) because we will continue to learn about more European explorers.

4th Grade: Fourth graders are beginning to wrap up our invention-based unit, "Eureka! Student Inventor". Most “labs” have earned all six wedges on the Wheel of Invention (each wedge representing a skill that inventors need), and are beginning “Round 2” during which they create their OWN invention idea! Ask your expert: Why is FAILURE not such a bad thing after all? (You can learn from your mistakes, it can help generate new ideas, you can see areas that need improvement, etc.) In Round 2, which skills from the Wheel will you need to depend on when choosing a problem to solve? (Possible answers: Research, Collaboration, Failure, Knowledge.) How will you use those skills? (Ex. I can use failure by thinking about instances when I’ve failed or things haven’t worked.)

5th Grade: Fifth grade has finished our Reformation unit in CKLA. We were able to connect it with previous units in both 4th and 5th grade. This unit gave us some focus on individuals who lived during that time. Ask your expert: Who are these people, and what was their part in the Reformation? (Martin Luther: wrote “95 Thesis”, ideas/beliefs against the catholic church. John Calvin: spoke out against the Catholic Church’s traditions, and believed that there was a pre-destination path to heaven. King Henry VIII: left the Catholic Church when he didn’t agree with them, and started his own church - the Church of England.) So, what was the reformation? (The changing of the church and its power in England.)

Art: Second grade artists are beginning their unit on Color. Through the study of plants, insects, fruits and weather we will explore color in nature and how artists use value, light and color mixing to represent the world around us! In art class they will be experimenting with various art materials such as paints, colored pencils and oil pastels in order to see the ways that different materials can affect how colors mix, imply texture and create value.

Spanish: Hola, hola… CocaCola. Among other topics, Kindergarten learned in Spanish about “mi cara”/“my face”. Vocabulary: Cara/face, ojos/eyes, nariz/nose, boca/mouth, orejas/ears. The children had a lot of fun dancing "El Chipichipi". They also counted, danced and had a lot of fun learning the numbers from 1 to 20 en español.

Music: This week, third grade musicians are exploring the Colorado Ballet’s Every Body Move warm-ups and mindfulness exercises, African American music, and, of course, violin! We are working on our bow technique, posture, and left hand fingerings, enjoying songs like Hot Cross Buns, Mary Had a Little Lamb, and Au Clair de la Lune. Ask your expert: “What did you enjoy most in Music class this week?”

PE: Fourth and fifth graders have just finished up our volleyball unit. Fifth graders will be able to participate on the middle school volleyball teams next year in the fall! Look for information over the summer that will be sent to you from the middle school. Great job by all the fourth and fifth graders….you all increased your skill level! Thank you for being great listeners.

TEAMS: In TEAMS this week first graders continued to work toward their typing goals. The students also learned about coding. We learned that humans control the computer and tell it WHAT to do (which is coding). We talked about all the different types of jobs in the world that involve computers and coding. We then worked on an assignment through where they had to tell their character “where” to go. We learned that we have to be very specific when coding or the computer will do the wrong thing. Feel free to check out some of the activities on that you can do without setting up an account!

Reading/Math Intervention: Comprehension is the end game of reading! You can use the following Roll & Retell game to help your child understand what they are reading. A couple things to note: 1. The Main Idea is simply what the story is mostly about, and 2. Text Features are things like the title of each chapter, pictures, captions, bold words, different print words, the index, or glossary. Have fun reading and exploring meaning through the use of this fun dice game!

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4th Grade History Projects

Fourth graders studied Colorado history during Social Studies. Our most recent unit took ustudents back in time to the historic Silver Boom and Bust during the late 1800s. Students completed a shoe box diorama project in which they chose to depict Colorado's boom (great burst of good fortune) or bust (loss of silver wealth) periods. With creative use of materials, factual depictions of what happened, and of course, plenty of shiny silver and gold, this year's projects were better than ever!

Oil Pastels

Second graders worked with oil pastels this week in art class! Below is a beautiful example of their lessons on color, by Ivy P. in Ms. Pearson's class.
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Ms. Carley's Special Guest:

COVID-19 Response

We ask that everyone continue to use the MSSD14 COVID Intake Form only when your student or someone in your household has COVID-like symptoms. This form is used only for students and staff who are absent due to unexplained or unexpected illness. This new process allows us to have consistent communication with staff and parents, which ultimately contributes to a stronger contact tracing process and the continuation of in-person learning.

Nutrition Services

Parent Action Committee

Please support the PAC by participating in the grocery rewards program (details below).
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